Unions are conversations

May 21, 2010

As I sit here and contemplate the last two days of bargaining, it strikes me that so much of what we do as labor leaders has to do with conversations. The whole concept of labor law is built around the concept of facilitating and empowering conversations. We organize our unions and recruit members as a direct result of many conversations. We hold elections, after talking to folks about our unions. Our contracts are the result of conversations in bargaining. Enforcement of contracts are the result of conversations (a process we call grievances.) When we go to negotiate new contracts there are many more conversations, with our members, with each other, with management.

They may not all be verbal but if you cannot hold and participate in a conversation; you do not have a union.